The Grape Escape: May 26
Aptly named Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel comes out of Lodi, Calif., which is a great region for less expensive Zinfandel. But don’t let the price fool you because Brazin does not go gently into that good night. In fact, it kicks harder than most 30 dollar Zins that I’ve tried. This beasty comes with a 15% abv (alcohol by volume) but isn’t as hot as other wines in that range. Believe it or not, this wine is actually quite balanced. A powerful nose of plum and nutmeg will surprise you as you take your first whiff. On the palate, Brazin unleashes an explosion of ripe fruit up front and a wonderful spicy finish. This wine is very full bodied and will leave a pleasant linger in your mouth for a good 20 or 30 seconds.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, I should mention why Lodi is a great region for Zinfandel. Nestled in between southern Sacramento county and northern San Joaquin county, Lodi has a Mediterranean climate that features warms days and cool nights. This is the kind of climate that Zinfandel loves. Within Lodi is a smaller AVA (American Viticultural Area) called Mokelumne River AVA. Most of Brazin’s grapes are sourced from here. This AVA is great for Zinfandel because of its sandy soil, which acts as a drain for the roots of the vines. Too much water = watered down wine. Brazin is irrigated only twice a year. This lack of irrigation stresses the vines and produces a lower yield of more concentrated fruit. This means more flavor and higher quality wine.
Brazin retails for only 10-15 dollars, which is a paltry sum when considering the quality inside the bottle.
Also, you can find this wine by the glass (or by the bottle) at Hugo’s on Block Street. If you haven’t been to Hugo’s, then you probably haven’t lived in Fayetteville for very long because this place is a Fayettevillian staple!